An urban planner is someone who helps to plan the development of cities and towns and then also subdivisions and other developments within those cities. They take into account how those developments will affect the population surrounding them, and if the development is sustainable. If you are a developer, or someone who buys large plots of land in order to build a new subdivision, industrial complex, or the like, you would do well to always consult with an urban planner before any work begins. Note why this is and how such a professional can actually protect your investment.
1. Planning for the future
When developing any type of property, you want to plan for the future. This might include economic trends, the median age of surrounding population, and the like.
As an example, a developer may be thinking of building family-size homes in a subdivision near the headquarters of a certain company, assuming that the management and executive staff of that company would be interested in purchasing those homes. However, an urban planner may know of that company's intentions to move, or of their intentions to downsize. An urban planner may also see that a population in an area is aging, with very few younger persons moving into that area. Family homes may not be the right choice for a development, versus condos or apartments that senior citizens may prefer.
2. Taking into account other developments
An urban planner may know of other developments in a certain city or area that might affect the plans of a developer. For instance, an urban planner may know of an industrial complex that is being built nearby, and this might affect the desirability of family homes, as families may not want to live near industrial areas. On the other hand, a developer may see an opportunity to develop the land so that it offers space for warehouses and storage facilities, fast food establishments, and other businesses that might be more desirable near industrial areas.
3. Urban planners may remember the human factor
Urban planners are often concerned with the human factor of any development, something that might be overlooked by a developer himself or herself. As an example, they may point out how certain subdivisions should have more entry points so that there is less traffic congestion, or that even industrial complexes may still need nice landscaping and a pleasing appearance, so that it looks more welcoming to staff and visitors. By incorporating these human factors into a development, it can be more desirable to potential investors or buyers once it's completed.